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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 10
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Chapter 10
While she still sat under the Scotchman's eyes a man came up to the door, reaching it as Henchard opened the door of the inner office to admit Elizabeth. The newcomer stepped forward like the quicker cripple at Bethesda, and entered in her stead. She could hear his words to Henchard: "Joshua Jopp, sir--by appointment--the new manager."

"The new manager!--he's in his office," said Henchard bluntly.

"In his office!" said the man, with a stultified1 air.

"I mentioned Thursday," said Henchard; "and as you did not keep your appointment, I have engaged another manager. At first I thought he must be you. Do you think I can wait when business is in question?"

"You said Thursday or Saturday, sir," said the newcomer, pulling out a letter.

"Well, you are too late," said the corn-factor. "I can say no more."

"You as good as engaged me," murmured the man.

"Subject to an interview," said Henchard. "I am sorry for you--very sorry indeed. But it can't be helped."

There was no more to be said, and the man came out, encountering Elizabeth-Jane in his passage. She could see that his mouth twitched2 with anger, and that bitter disappointment was written in his face everywhere.

Elizabeth-Jane now entered, and stood before the master of the premises3. His dark pupils--which always seemed to have a red spark of light in them, though this could hardly be a physical fact--turned indifferently round under his dark brows until they rested on her figure. "Now then, what is it, my young woman?" he said blandly4.

"Can I speak to you--not on business, sir?" said she.

"Yes--I suppose." He looked at her more thoughtfully.

"I am sent to tell you, sir," she innocently went on, "that a distant relative of yours by marriage, Susan Newson, a sailor's widow, is in the town, and to ask whether you would wish to see her."

The rich rouge-et-noir of his countenance5 underwent a slight change. "Oh--Susan is--still alive?" he asked with difficulty.

"Yes, sir."

"Are you her daughter?"

"Yes, sir--her only daughter."

"What--do you call yourself--your Christian6 name?"

"Elizabeth-Jane, sir."

"Newson?"

"Elizabeth-Jane Newson."

This at once suggested to Henchard that the transaction of his early married life at Weydon Fair was unrecorded in the family history. It was more than he could have expected. His wife had behaved kindly7 to him in return for his unkindness, and had never proclaimed her wrong to her child or to the world.

"I am--a good deal interested in your news," he said. "And as this is not a matter of business, but pleasure, suppose we go indoors."

It was with a gentle delicacy8 of manner, surprising to Elizabeth, that he showed her out of the office and through the outer room, where Donald Farfrae was overhauling9 bins10 and samples with the inquiring inspection11 of a beginner in charge. Henchard preceded her through the door in the wall to the suddenly changed scene of the garden and flowers, and onward12 into the house. The dining-room to which he introduced her still exhibited the remnants of the lavish13 breakfast laid for Farfrae. It was furnished to profusion14 with heavy mahogany furniture of the deepest red-Spanish hues15. Pembroke tables, with leaves hanging so low that they well-nigh touched the floor, stood against the walls on legs and feet shaped like those of an elephant, and on one lay three huge folio volumes--a Family Bible, a "Josephus," and a "Whole Duty of Man." In the chimney comer was a fire-grate with a fluted16 semicircular back, having urns17 and festoons cast in relief thereon, and the chairs were of the kind which, since that day, has cast lustre18 upon the names of Chippendale and Sheraton, though, in point of fact, their patterns may have been such as those illustrious carpenters never saw or heard of.

"Sit down--Elizabeth-Jane--sit down," he said, with a shake in his voice as he uttered her name, and sitting down himself he allowed his hands to hang between his knees while he looked upon the carpet. "Your mother, then, is quite well?"

"She is rather worn out, sir, with travelling."

"A sailor's widow--when did he die?"

"Father was lost last spring."

Henchard winced19 at the word "father," thus applied20. "Do you and she come from abroad--America or Australia?" he asked.

"No. We have been in England some years. I was twelve when we came here from Canada."

"Ah; exactly." By such conversation he discovered the circumstances which had enveloped21 his wife and her child in such total obscurity that he had long ago believed them to be in their graves. These things being clear, he returned to the present. "And where is your mother staying?"

"At the Three Mariners22."

"And you are her daughter Elizabeth-Jane?" repeated Henchard. He arose, came close to her, and glanced in her face. "I think," he said, suddenly turning away with a wet eye, "you shall take a note from me to your mother. I should like to see her....She is not left very well off by her late husband?" His eye fell on Elizabeth's clothes, which, though a respectable suit of black, and her very best, were decidedly old-fashioned even to Casterbridge eyes.

"Not very well," she said, glad that he had divined this without her being obliged to express it.

He sat down at the table and wrote a few lines, next taking from his pocket-book a five-pound note, which he put in the envelope with the letter, adding to it, as by an afterthought, five shillings. Sealing the whole up carefully, he directed it to "Mrs. Newson, Three Mariners Inn," and handed the packet to Elizabeth.

"Deliver it to her personally, please," said Henchard. "Well, I am glad to see you here, Elizabeth-Jane--very glad. We must have a long talk together--but not just now."

He took her hand at parting, and held it so warmly that she, who had known so little friendship, was much affected23, and tears rose to her aerial-grey eyes. The instant that she was gone Henchard's state showed itself more distinctly; having shut the door he sat in his dining-room stiffly erect24, gazing at the opposite wall as if he read his history there.

"Begad!" he suddenly exclaimed, jumping up. "I didn't think of that. Perhaps these are impostors--and Susan and the child dead after all!"

However, a something in Elizabeth-Jane soon assured him that, as regarded her, at least, there could be little doubt. And a few hours would settle the question of her mother's identity; for he had arranged in his note to see her that evening.

"It never rains but it pours!" said Henchard. His keenly excited interest in his new friend the Scotchman was now eclipsed by this event, and Donald Farfrae saw so little of him during the rest of the day that he wondered at the suddenness of his employer's moods.

In the meantime Elizabeth had reached the inn. Her mother, instead of taking the note with the curiosity of a poor woman expecting assistance, was much moved at sight of it. She did not read it at once, asking Elizabeth to describe her reception, and the very words Mr. Henchard used. Elizabeth's back was turned when her mother opened the letter. It ran thus:-


"Meet me at eight o'clock this evening, if you can, at the Ring on the Budmouth road. The place is easy to find. I can say no more now. The news upsets me almost. The girl seems to be in ignorance. Keep her so till I have seen you. M. H."


He said nothing about the enclosure of five guineas. The amount was significant; it may tacitly have said to her that he bought her back again. She waited restlessly for the close of the day, telling Elizabeth-Jane that she was invited to see Mr. Henchard; that she would go alone. But she said nothing to show that the place of meeting was not at his house, nor did she hand the note to Elizabeth.

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1 stultified 288ad76ed555b9e3999b2bc6ccc102da     
v.使成为徒劳,使变得无用( stultify的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Their unhelpfulness has stultified our efforts to improve things. 他们不管事,我们为改进工作的用心也就白费了。 来自辞典例句
  • He was stultified, shocked, paralyzed. 他当时一听,吓傻了,气坏了,瘫痪了。 来自辞典例句
2 twitched bb3f705fc01629dc121d198d54fa0904     
vt.& vi.(使)抽动,(使)颤动(twitch的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • Her lips twitched with amusement. 她忍俊不禁地颤动着嘴唇。
  • The child's mouth twitched as if she were about to cry. 这小孩的嘴抽动着,像是要哭。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 premises 6l1zWN     
n.建筑物,房屋
参考例句:
  • According to the rules,no alcohol can be consumed on the premises.按照规定,场内不准饮酒。
  • All repairs are done on the premises and not put out.全部修缮都在家里进行,不用送到外面去做。
4 blandly f411bffb7a3b98af8224e543d5078eb9     
adv.温和地,殷勤地
参考例句:
  • There is a class of men in Bristol monstrously prejudiced against Blandly. 布里斯托尔有那么一帮人为此恨透了布兰德利。 来自英汉文学 - 金银岛
  • \"Maybe you could get something in the stage line?\" he blandly suggested. “也许你能在戏剧这一行里找些事做,\"他和蔼地提议道。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
5 countenance iztxc     
n.脸色,面容;面部表情;vt.支持,赞同
参考例句:
  • At the sight of this photograph he changed his countenance.他一看见这张照片脸色就变了。
  • I made a fierce countenance as if I would eat him alive.我脸色恶狠狠地,仿佛要把他活生生地吞下去。
6 Christian KVByl     
adj.基督教徒的;n.基督教徒
参考例句:
  • They always addressed each other by their Christian name.他们总是以教名互相称呼。
  • His mother is a sincere Christian.他母亲是个虔诚的基督教徒。
7 kindly tpUzhQ     
adj.和蔼的,温和的,爽快的;adv.温和地,亲切地
参考例句:
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
8 delicacy mxuxS     
n.精致,细微,微妙,精良;美味,佳肴
参考例句:
  • We admired the delicacy of the craftsmanship.我们佩服工艺师精巧的手艺。
  • He sensed the delicacy of the situation.他感觉到了形势的微妙。
9 overhauling c335839deaeda81ce0dd680301931584     
n.大修;拆修;卸修;翻修v.彻底检查( overhaul的现在分词 );大修;赶上;超越
参考例句:
  • I had no chance of overhauling him. 我没有赶上他的可能。 来自辞典例句
  • Some sites need little alterations but some need total overhauling. 有些网站需要做出细微修改,而有些网站就需要整体改版。 来自互联网
10 bins f61657e8b1aa35d4af30522a25c4df3a     
n.大储藏箱( bin的名词复数 );宽口箱(如面包箱,垃圾箱等)v.扔掉,丢弃( bin的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • Garbage from all sources was deposited in bins on trolleys. 来自各方的垃圾是装在手推车上的垃圾箱里的。 来自辞典例句
  • Would you be pleased at the prospect of its being on sale in dump bins? 对于它将被陈列在倾销箱中抛售这件事,你能欣然接受吗? 来自辞典例句
11 inspection y6TxG     
n.检查,审查,检阅
参考例句:
  • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
  • The soldiers lined up for their daily inspection by their officers.士兵们列队接受军官的日常检阅。
12 onward 2ImxI     
adj.向前的,前进的;adv.向前,前进,在先
参考例句:
  • The Yellow River surges onward like ten thousand horses galloping.黄河以万马奔腾之势滚滚向前。
  • He followed in the steps of forerunners and marched onward.他跟随着先辈的足迹前进。
13 lavish h1Uxz     
adj.无节制的;浪费的;vt.慷慨地给予,挥霍
参考例句:
  • He despised people who were lavish with their praises.他看不起那些阿谀奉承的人。
  • The sets and costumes are lavish.布景和服装极尽奢华。
14 profusion e1JzW     
n.挥霍;丰富
参考例句:
  • He is liberal to profusion.他挥霍无度。
  • The leaves are falling in profusion.落叶纷纷。
15 hues adb36550095392fec301ed06c82f8920     
色彩( hue的名词复数 ); 色调; 信仰; 观点
参考例句:
  • When the sun rose a hundred prismatic hues were reflected from it. 太阳一出,更把它映得千变万化、异彩缤纷。
  • Where maple trees grow, the leaves are often several brilliant hues of red. 在枫树生长的地方,枫叶常常呈现出数种光彩夺目的红色。
16 fluted ds9zqF     
a.有凹槽的
参考例句:
  • The Taylor house is that white one with the tall fluted column on Polyock Street. 泰勒家的住宅在波洛克街上,就是那幢有高大的雕花柱子的白色屋子。
  • Single chimera light pink two-tone fluted star. Plain, pointed. Large. 单瓣深浅不一的亮粉红色星形缟花,花瓣端有凹痕。平坦尖型叶。大型。
17 urns 6df9129bd5aa442c382b5bd8a5a61135     
n.壶( urn的名词复数 );瓮;缸;骨灰瓮
参考例句:
  • Wine utensils unearthed include jars, urns, pots, bowls and cups. 发掘出的酒器皿有瓶、瓮、罐、壶、碗和杯子。 来自互联网
  • Ernie yearned to learn to turn urns. 呕尼渴望学会转咖啡壶。 来自互联网
18 lustre hAhxg     
n.光亮,光泽;荣誉
参考例句:
  • The sun was shining with uncommon lustre.太阳放射出异常的光彩。
  • A good name keeps its lustre in the dark.一个好的名誉在黑暗中也保持它的光辉。
19 winced 7be9a27cb0995f7f6019956af354c6e4     
赶紧避开,畏缩( wince的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He winced as the dog nipped his ankle. 狗咬了他的脚腕子,疼得他龇牙咧嘴。
  • He winced as a sharp pain shot through his left leg. 他左腿一阵剧痛疼得他直龇牙咧嘴。
20 applied Tz2zXA     
adj.应用的;v.应用,适用
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
21 enveloped 8006411f03656275ea778a3c3978ff7a     
v.包围,笼罩,包住( envelop的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She was enveloped in a huge white towel. 她裹在一条白色大毛巾里。
  • Smoke from the burning house enveloped the whole street. 燃烧着的房子冒出的浓烟笼罩了整条街。 来自《简明英汉词典》
22 mariners 70cffa70c802d5fc4932d9a87a68c2eb     
海员,水手(mariner的复数形式)
参考例句:
  • Mariners were also able to fix their latitude by using an instrument called astrolabe. 海员们还可使用星盘这种仪器确定纬度。
  • The ancient mariners traversed the sea. 古代的海员漂洋过海。
23 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
24 erect 4iLzm     
n./v.树立,建立,使竖立;adj.直立的,垂直的
参考例句:
  • She held her head erect and her back straight.她昂着头,把背挺得笔直。
  • Soldiers are trained to stand erect.士兵们训练站得笔直。


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